How the donation was made

July 21st, 2008 at 7:40 am by David Farrar

Very interesting to look closely at the words in the media from and this morning. In the Herald:

Winston Peters’ lawyer says a tip-off led him to approach billionaire for a large donation to the NZ First leader’s legal bills.

Now this tip-off could have been from Winston or from Mike Williams. Also of note if Henry says he solicted the donation while Winston Peters in his February perss conference said that they never approached or asked anyone for money. Of course what Winston meant was they never solicit donations to NZ First but they go hell for leather for personal donations to his legal fund.

Brian Henry said last night he asked the Monaco-based businessman for help after another donor did not deliver.

How many secret donors have there been?

“We made it well known around friendly political circles – or I did – that I was looking for a donor.”

Doesn’t that sounds like a perfect description of Mike Williams?

Mr Henry said he could not recall who had advised him to contact Mr Glenn when the original funder of the legal action fell through, but it was not Mr Peters.

Nor was it Mike Williams, the president of the Labour Party which has also received Glenn donations.

“I can’t off the top of my head remember who it was who told me to call him.”

Oh of course. You can not remember who told you to go hit Owen Glenn up for $100,000 but you can recall it wasn’t Winston or Mike Williams.

Mr Henry said no fund or account for Mr Peters’ legal bills existed.

“The position is that the money is used to pay an existing bill, full-stop.

There is no fund. There is no cash sitting in a balance anywhere. There are bills to be paid.”

Now this is fascinating. Because paying off a bill on behalf of Winston Peters is effectively a donation to him, and there are definite tax implications for that. More on that later.

But let us turn back to the requirements of the Register of Pecuniary Interests:

a description of all debts of more than $500 that were owing by the member that were discharged or paid (in whole or in part) by any other person and the names of each of those persons,

So Brian Henry has just confirmed the Register is incorrect for Winston Peters. And Winston would have been well aware that his legal bills had just dropped by $100,000. Plus it is possible he gets Brian Henry to file his annual return, so any excuses for an incorrect return are shot.

Mr Henry would not discuss why he had not alerted Mr Peters about the donation in February, when Mr Peters denied Mr Glenn had made a donation.

It was of course logical and sensible to let your close friend and client remain in the dark.

Asked about pecuniary gain, Mr Peters told NZPA he did not believe he had benefited personally from the arrangement whereby his legal bills were paid by anonymous donors and he paid the shortfall.

Mr Henry concurred last night.

“There is nothing I am aware of where someone contributing towards a bill you have incurred needs to be declared.”

These men are lawyers? They have to be kidding. They think paying a bill on behalf of someone is not beneficial. Hey let’s pay off Winston’s mortgage for him – that doesn’t count also.

What they say also is directly contradicted by Standing Orders and the Register of Pecuniary Interests.

Henry’s insistence that paying off Winston’s bill isn’t a donation to Winston strongly suggests he did not pay tax on that donation. I suggest a question the nice Peter Dunne, Minister of Revenue would be in order:

“To the Minister of Revenue: What is the position of the Inland Revenue Department as to liable tax if an individual has another individual pay $100,000 debt on their behalf”

Also yet to be resolved is if that $100,000 donation was in any way linked to the large closer to $100,000 than $10,000 sum which appeared in the NZ First bank account in December 2007?

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13 Responses to “How the donation was made”

  1. Inventory2 (9,791 comments) says:

    Interestingly, neither Clark or Williams would answer the Herald’s questions about this last night. I guess you read into that what you will.

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  2. Portia (204 comments) says:

    There is also the concept of “blind-eye” knowledge. The House of Lords once said:

    “Blind-eye’ knowledge approximates to knowledge. Nelson at the battle of Copenhagen made a deliberate decision to place the telescope to his blind eye in order to avoid seeing what he knew he would see if he placed it to his good eye. It is, I think, common ground – and if it is not, it should be – that an imputation of blind-eye knowledge requires an amalgam of suspicion that certain facts may exist and a decision to refrain from taking any step to confirm their existence.”

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  3. Hagues (711 comments) says:

    From now on I will get my employer to pay my wages into a trust account that pays my mortgage, power, phone, petrol, groceries etc. Anyone else will be free to make donations to this account as well. Since there is obviously no personal benefit to me in having this arrangement I will not need to declare this income to the IRD.

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  4. Craig Ranapia (1,912 comments) says:

    Peters’ performance on Morning Report today was awe-inspiring, just not in a good sense. He’s either dim as a dead bulb, a pathological and habitual liar, or actually believes whatever he’s just said and blanks out the rest. I really don’t know which possibility is the least attractive.

    But I’m waiting for someone to keep asking Peters this question: Do you have teenage children Mr Peters? Because you’re awfully good at the Hogans Heroes/Sgt. Schultz “I know nuffink!” routine. Or to put it into Nixonian terms, the plausible deniability is becoming less plausible by the day.

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  5. Lee C (4,516 comments) says:

    My personal gut feeling on this is that GLenn was made to look a prize prick on national tv by Helen at the university ceremony. He probably expected some kind of great honour, and instead was publically snubbed by Helen ‘Hmm isn’t this brochure interesting’ Clark.
    This WInston thing is utu, Glen has decided he is going to pick them off one by one starting with Wisnton.
    My gut prediction?
    Expect a lot of faux-outrage from the left (esp the VDS) soon as the ‘truth’ about Owen Glenn’s business and arms transactions is suddenly cast into the public domain, and Head Office seeks to discredit him personally.
    Funny, because they knew all this stuff when he was offering them the cash, but it did not appear so important then.

    sorry, but i’m in a hurry please disregard my more fantastical ravings……

    Can it be proven that Helen Clark knew of Mike Williams involvement in Winston’s fund-gathering activites?
    Can it be proven that Owen Glenn’s donation to Labour was contingent on getting a consulship?
    Can it be proven that Winston’s ministerial post was linked to Glenn’s willingness to donate to NZF because it would give leverage to the cash-for-consul issue?
    Can it be proven that Winston gave Helen ‘plausible deniability’ with the ‘My lawyer only just told me’ ploy?
    Can it be proven that Helen ‘knew’ that Glenn had been doing the above?
    Can it be proven that Winston’s present bluster is a smokescreen which disguises the ather unpleasant idea that Owen Glenn (behnd plausible deniability from all involved) had both Labour and NZF in his pocket when he bailed them both out with some of his chump-change?
    Can it be proven that Labour’s curious silence on this issue is not only motivated by a desire to stay in power at WInston’s behest, (therfore he has some pretty serious stuff in his possession) but also because it has colluded with Winston and Glenn to assist in the laundering of the $100,000 donation?

    thanks there will be no more of this repetitiveness from me today

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  6. Pita (356 comments) says:

    Regrettably, it would seem, this whole affair says more about Owen Glenn than the already recognised behavior of our “Rich Prick” loathing government.

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  7. gee90 (92 comments) says:

    On Morning Report (audio on RNZ website):

    Sean Plunket asks Brian Henry if the person who suggested contacting Glenn was a member of the Labour Party.

    Henry: “No”. (not “I don’t recall” – just one word: “No”).

    If you believe the lawyer is lying, just say so.

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  8. David Farrar (1,811 comments) says:

    Well Brian Henry has said he can not recall who the person was, so how can he be sure he was not a Labour Party member?

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  9. getstaffed (9,188 comments) says:

    Moreu at his best

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  10. KevOB (262 comments) says:

    Gift Duty

    Gift duty is imposed in respect of dispositions of property for inadequate consideration. Liability to gift duty arises in respect gifts:

    by persons domiciled in New Zealand irrespective of where the subject property is situated;

    by persons not domiciled in New Zealand where the subject property is situated in New Zealand.

    Gift duty is calculated in respect of the total value of gifts made within any 12 month period and is calculated at the following rates:
    This is not from the Act( which is off line) but HLB.

    If the gift was made from Glenn’s NZ assets it would appear to be dutiable. I think there would have to be a clear transfer from overseas for the specific payment to avoid it. It is an interesting question about liability if Glenn was personally present in NZ at the time.

    The amount of duty payable on $100,000 is $12,850 plus any penalties for late payment or avoidance.

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  11. Political Busker (231 comments) says:

    NZ First’s Owen Glenn Donation

    On Nine to Noon this morning Henry made it reasonably clear that party politics were not a factor in the reference to Owen Glenn as being a ‘willing donor’. Above is the link but I don’t think it will carry over into this message.

    The ‘blind eye’ policy is protected by the system to avoid other problems that should well be protected from. Winston, unless there is another string to this or he is further progressing a lie has taken first prize against those who want to challenge him on law and Rodney Hide is about to take a hiding before the Speaker – again.

    Helen Clark has alienated the problem successfully: it is embarrassing. Unless the facts are different, any individual who wants to further this initiative is left withthis instrument alone. It is fair that teh media and the public shuold take extraordinary exception that Winston shuld be so cocky about a fact that he was not willing to research. His actions were inefficient, arrogant and outright slack. He is used to gettign away with it because from this traditional point there is noone left in the arena to chastise him for the way he behaves.

    In the report Kathryn Ryan has a go but clearly loses. She wasn’t, as Winston points out prepared to do the homework herself and was being slack. At least, however he conceded the point in a small degree where he didn’t ask her to resign if she should make a play and be found to be wrong.

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  12. KevOB (262 comments) says:

    “Mr Henry said no fund or account for Mr Peters’ legal bills existed.” NZ Herald 21/07/08

    Curiouser and curiouser …
    Lawyers don’t now have to render accounts for fees? and if the do as they are required, they don’t keep records in contravention of IRD law?

    What about the instructing solicitor having to pay the barrister?
    Is this a matter for the Law Society?
    There are requirements for accounts to be rendered to the clients before any fees are charged, otherwise the auditors would like to know.

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  13. baxter (893 comments) says:

    I am confused. Is the hundred thousand that Henry received from Glen to pay Winstons tax bill the same hundred thousand that Dail Jones says suddenly appeared in NZ First Bank Account. If so did someone tranfer it to Henry for legal expenses or did Henry transfer it to the New Zealand First Account. Is it the same hundred thousand that Winston said was received from thousands of party members. (They couldn’t have got much from Wanganui Party members because Rana WAITAI writing in a local paper says he received in error a copy of the local electorates balance sheet and their cash balance was $160.) GLEN in the emails refers to his donation being to NZ First not to Winston to pay his bills. Where did the $158,000 come from which Winston gave away to Charity in lieu of paying back money he stole from the taxpayer if it was not part of the Glen donation. How come neither Henry, Winston , or NZ First have no books or receipts showing where their money comes from. Who are the monkeys and who is the organ grinder. My pick is that the organ grinder is Mike WILLIAMs whose directorship[s all involve courtesy of Liabour, Transport, the others are the monkies dedicated to Liabour’s survival and WILLIAMS will be the paymaster when Glen submits his account.. My advice to National is make it clear now No post Election negotiations with Winston, a vote for NZ First is a vote for Liabour, the voter can then give the country the Goverment they deserve.

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